Je Tsongkhapa Statue Fund


A large  statue set,  Je Tsongkhapa and his Two Sons,  286 pounds/130 kilograms, will be Offered to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso with Requests for Blessings for the peoples of Nepal's earthquake regions.  It is our pure hope that those Blessings will manifest as an Authorized New Kadampa Tradition Center in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 With your open hearted devotion and the extremely generous Matching Gift of an anonymous benefactor, only twenty days into the fundraising process we have already been able to initiate a nearly $3,000.00 disbursement toward materials costs and assistant-workers' wages.  We are so fortunate!  

As most of you know, Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley are still suffering after a series of earthquakes that were  the deadliest of historic record.  Fortunate in surviving this natural disaster in which eighty-five hundred other people perished, our friend Buddhist Statue Maker Jayadish Shakya and his family were forced to abandon the devastation of their home in Katmandu and relocate temporarily to his wife's parents' in Lalitpur District.

Even in the widespread fear that followed the first 7.8 earthquake on April 25, Jayadish refused cash donations, using any funds sent him to buy provisions for those who had nowhere else to go.  In the chaos of that immediate aftermath, however, Jayadish, who has been painting and making Buddhist statues since he was eight years old, conceived the wish to make an original-design, large statue set of JeTsongkhapa and his Two Sons:  thirty-two and twenty-eight inches tall.  

Jayadish's hope was for these devotional statues of Tibetan Buddhism's great 14th century lights of wisdom and compassion to be offered to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso with requests for blessings for the peoples of Nepal, both those many people who died in the earthquakes, and all those many enduring the arduous process of reconstruction and renewal.

Several of us are working together to help Jayadish realize this aspiration, which will provide some income for about a dozen people and inject about $6,000 into the region's economy.  The set of three gilded and painted copper statues will weigh about 130 kg/286 pounds.  Summary of Project Costs, below, is in US Dollars.  The disbursement paid from our initial April 2015 Jayadish Shakya Relief Fund is subtracted from the Costs Total to define the current JeTsongkhapa Statue Fund's Goal:

 $2150.00:   Copper; wax/clay/mold-components
 $0850.00:   Gold, 24 karat (partial) body/lotus gilding
 $2250.00:   Wages; 11 person team of assistants
 $0250.00:   Jayadish labor, Token Gratuity
 $0520.00:   13% Interest/$4000 loan; Nepal Bank Ltd.
-$1270.00:   - DISBURSEMENT ONE  May 15 2015
 $0600.00:   GoFundMe and Payment-Processor Fees
 $0045.00:   Wire Fees Disbursement Two July 30 2015
 $0045.00:   Wire Fees Disbursement Three
 $0760.00:   Shipping costs Nepal to England: 286 lbs


Just a few days after the first 7.8 magnitude quake on April 25th we launched the Jayadish Shakya Work-Project Relief Fund.  Working under rough conditions, through aftershocks and subsequent severe quakes, Jaydish completed the large wax and clay models for Je Tsongkhapa and His Two Sons on May 16th, one day following the third 5.7 Nepal quake.  That initial Fund made one disbursement of $1270 in May before closing for administrative reorganization.


Because the monsoon season would soon begin, degrading the clay models and rendering casting in a traditional earth-grounded mold impossible, Jayadish financed a personal bank loan to cover the necessary next-phase materials and labor costs.  On June 13th he worked together with eleven friends to cast the three large statues in a time-sensitive lost-wax ground-mold process using fire-melted molten copper.  Over the ten days following, Jayadish and his assistants cleaned the rough casts and executed preliminary finishing. The current Fund cover photograph shows one of JeTsongkhapa's two sons completed to this stage:  June 25th 2015.


Jayadish Shakya completed the preliminary finishing of the 286 pound cast copper statues set of Je Tsongkhapa and his Two Sons on July 24 2015.  He has initiated the final gilding and painting.  As of July 28th we are in the process of  finalizing our second disbursement  covering materials and assistant workers' wages,  totaling approximately  $3,000.00 minus fund and wire-cost fees.  This large amount  only 20 days into the fundraising process was made possible by the generous Matching Gift of an anonymous benefactor.

Some of us first met Jayadish Shakya in Nepal, and then again later at the 2013 International Kadampa Buddhist Fall Festival in Portugal, his first trip to the West.  We were impressed by his humility and sincerity, his faith in the Buddha-emanation Tara whose practice he performs every morning, his good heart, and the beauty of the statues and thangkhas we saw him produce.  It is only with some effort that we have been successful in persuading him to accept a small amount for his own extensive labor in this effort, which includes sculpting the original large clay/wax models, running the project and the ancient in-ground lost-wax casting process, and executing the final finishing, painting and gilding. 

Jaydish Shaya describes himself as "only a beginner" in meditation.  His motivation to complete these beautiful objects of devotion and offer them to Geshe-la with requests for blessings for the peoples of Nepal is a shining light that inspires him and those working alongside him to go forward and to rebuild their lives in the face of every difficulty.  It is our belief that all these difficulties are in themselves a pathway to spiritual transformation and renewal that would be impossible in more ordinary times.  And it is true that it has been in the course of many hours of working through and realizing these holy objects, the Je Tsongkhapa statues, that Jayadish's initial wish evolved and focused into a specific vision and a specific hope.

We have written Geshe Kelsang Gyatso to tell him of all of this.  We have voiced to him the pure hope that our Offerings and Requests and his Blessings for the peoples of the earthquake regions will also manifest in the perceivable world in a way that benefits countless others without end:  the establishment of an Authorized New Kadampa Tradition Center in Kathmandu, Nepal.

There are so many, many very obvious obstacles facing this realization.  Please pray, and dedicate, and join your selfless wish with ours:  So many practical steps will need to be taken, so much will need to come to fruition for what in practical terms we can consider a miracle: Atisha's Pure, Authorized Teachings of Kadam Dharma coming close to full circle, rising from their origins and traveling around the world for a thousand years to finally be delivered by a Qualified New Kadampa Teacher in Kathmandu.

Photo:  Jayadish Shakya

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Nancy Khatanga 
San Francisco, CA
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